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Behavioralize This! International Evidence on Autocorrelation Patterns of Stock Index and Futures Returns

  • Dong-Hyun Ahn
  • Jacob Boudoukh
  • Matthew Richardson
  • Robert Whitelaw
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    This paper investigates the relation between returns on stock indices and their corresponding futures contracts in order to evaluate potential explanations for the pervasive yet anomalous evidence of positive, short-horizon portfolio autocorrelations. Using a simple theoretical framework, we generate empirical implications for both microstructure and behavioral models. These implications are then tested using futures data on 24 contracts across 15 countries. The major findings are (i) return autocorrelations of indices tend to be positive even though their corresponding futures contracts have autocorrelations close to zero, (ii) these autocorrelation differences between spot and futures markets are maintained even under conditions favorable for spot-futures arbitrage, and (iii) these autocorrelation differences are most prevalent during low volume periods. These results point us towards a market microstructure-based explanation for short-horizon autocorrelations and away from explanations based on current popular behavioral models.

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    File URL: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/fin/workpapers/papers99/wpa99040.pdf
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    Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business- in its series New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires with number 99-040.

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    Date of creation: Nov 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:fth:nystfi:99-040
    Contact details of provider: Postal: U.S.A.; New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics . 44 West 4th Street. New York, New York 10012-1126
    Phone: (212) 998-0100
    Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/finance/

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    1. Atchison, Michael D & Butler, Kirt C & Simonds, Richard R, 1987. " Nonsynchronous Security Trading and Market Index Autocorrelation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(1), pages 111-18, March.
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    3. A. Craig MacKinlay, Krishna Ramaswamy, 1988. "Index-Futures Arbitrage and the Behavior of Stock Index Futures Prices," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(2), pages 137-158.
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    7. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1998. "An Anatomy of Trading Strategies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 489-519.
    8. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew P & Whitelaw, Robert F, 1994. "A Tale of Three Schools: Insights on Autocorrelations of Short-Horizon Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(3), pages 539-73.
    9. Holden, Craig W & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1992. " Long-Lived Private Information and Imperfect Competition," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 247-70, March.
    10. Foster, F Douglas & Viswanathan, S, 1993. "The Effect of Public Information and Competition on Trading Volume and Price Volatility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 23-56.
    11. Andrew W. Lo & Craig A. MacKinlay, . "An Econometric Analysis of Nonsyschronous-Trading," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-89, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    12. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1989. "Mean Reversion in Short-Horizon Expected Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(2), pages 225-40.
    13. Chan, Kalok, 1992. "A Further Analysis of the Lead-Lag Relationship between the Cash Market and Stock Index Futures Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(1), pages 123-52.
    14. Bessembinder, Hendrik & Hertzel, Michael G, 1993. "Return Autocorrelations around Nontrading Days," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 155-89.
    15. KENT D. DANIEL & David Hirshleifer & AVANIDHAR SUBRAHMANYAM, 2004. "A Theory of Overconfidence, Self-Attribution, and Security Market Under- and Over-reactions," Finance 0412006, EconWPA.
    16. Mech, Timothy S., 1993. "Portfolio return autocorrelation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 307-344, December.
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